The Malawi Confederation of Chambers of Commerce and Industry (MCCCI) has asked the Malawi Revenue Authority (MRA) to address some of the challenges associated with one of its latest innovations, Declaration Processing Centre (DPC).
The DPC allows businesses to receive centralised customs clearing services, get uniform application and interpretation of valuation of similar goods and easily follow all the transactions up to the time goods are released.
MCCCI vice-president Eddie Kaluwa made the call on Friday in Blantyre during the commemoration of the World Customs Day under the theme, “Innovation for customs progress”.
He noted that there are a number of teething issues associated with the implementation of the new innovation such as network problems that prolong the processing time and also failure to accommodate duty payments made through other stations, among others.
“The general perception is that with total automation and the introduction of Direct Traders Input, the processing time would be within a period of 24 hours or less. But the reality on the ground is different because of a number of challenges such as network challenges due to power interruptions,” said Kaluwa.
He said with respect to customs duty payments, the system does not seem to accommodate payment of duties made through other stations, arguing that cheque payments have to be physically moved to Lilongwe, Dedza and Mchinji to be banked.
MRA deputy commissioner general Crispin Kulemeka said the public tax collector is implementing various innovative systems and procedures to deliver modern taxpayer services.
He said MRA has embarked on innovations to enhance trade facilitation, increase tax compliance and improve taxpayers’ service.
“MRA is not implementing innovations in customs division only. It is also implementing innovations in domestic taxes division as well as support services divisions. We believe that the innovations will deliver a number of benefits to both the organisation and it stakeholders,” said Kulemeka.
The innovations will, among other things, help to reduce clearance times, reduce costs of compliance from electronic filing and payments and will increase revenue from greater compliance management.
Commissioner of customs and excise Agness Katsonga-Phiri said the revenue collecting body will soon connect to the ports of Beira and Nacala in Mozambique.